Thursday, May 12, 2016

Indiana Photo of the Day - Downtown New Harmony, Indiana

Downtown New Harmony, Indiana

Downtown New Harmony, Indiana

Title of Marker: 

New Harmony 

Location: 

Near 513 E. Church Street across from post office, New Harmony. (Posey County, Indiana) 

Installed by: 

Erected by Indiana Sesquicentennial Commission, 1966 

Marker ID #: 

65.1966.1 

Marker Text: 

Location of two attempts at communal living: The Harmonists under Reverend George Rapp, 1814-1825, and the Owenites under philanthropist Robert Owen, 1825-1826. New Harmony remained, an important cultural center for many, years thereafter.Near 513 E. Church Street across from post office, New Harmony. (Posey County, Indiana) 

Erected by Indiana Sesquicentennial Commission, 1966 

ID# : 65.1966.1 

Text 

Location of two attempts at communal living: The Harmonists under Reverend George Rapp, 1814-1825, and the Owenites under philanthropist Robert Owen, 1825-1826. New Harmony remained, an important cultural center for many, years thereafter. 

Brief History 

New Harmony, Indiana has an interesting history. The town was the location for two social experiments led by idealists. George Rapp, along with several other men, traveled to the Indiana Territory in April 1814. They sought a new site for their community in Pennsylvania. The site the town now occupies caught their eyes. They decided it was an ideal place to establish a community as the Wabash is navigable and close to the Ohio River. They could easily access the markets of New Orleans with their goods. They would establish a community on the banks of the Wabash and thrive there for ten years. Then they sold the town to a second group and moved their congregation back to another site in Pennsylvania. 

The second group, headed by idealist Robert Owen, purchased the town and used it to perform an experiment in socialism. During this time, the town became a leading center of science, especially the natural sciences. 

Nineteenth Century Historic Structures 

Reconstruction of many of the buildings in New Harmony has occurred. Many others, contemporary to the era the town's founding, have seen relocation here. The town thus serves as a living museum of the way of life in the early Nineteenth Century. 

Education and Art in New Harmony 

Prominent scientist, William Maclure established the first free library in Indiana at New Harmony. This library is now the oldest continuously operating library in the state. The first public schools open to both girls and boys appeared in New Harmony and an early theatre, New Harmony's Thespian Society, came into existence in 1827. 

The traditions of history, education, art and theatre continue today. A visit to this wonderful, historic town will enhance your life and provide many memories. 

Excerpted from the author’s book: 



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